"Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth" - Albert Einstein
Such was the power of Gandhi during his lifetime. As his birth anniversary (October 2) is nearing and the world is thrown into chaos more than ever before, it would be apt on our part to catch the glimpses of Mahatma Gandhi's life.
Here are some unique slices of Gandhiji's life:
- It took some time for Gandhiji to realize that non-violence is always better than violence. Gandhiji served the army during the Boer war before he demolished violence from his life.
- Mahatma Gandhiji was a source of inspiration for many people all around the world because of non-violence and civil disobedience. The most famous world leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. (USA), Dalai Lama (Tibet), Aung San SuuKyi (Myanmar), Nelson Mandela (S. Africa) and Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina) won the Nobel Peace prize for their outstanding contributions to uphold world peace; all of them were influenced by Gandhiji's philosophy. However, Mahatma Gandhiji never received a Nobel Peace Prize when he was alive!
- Mahatma Gandhiji's simple life with a blend of truth and non-violence has been influencing people not only India but also people living abroad. An example for his exceptional influence on foreigners is Henry Ford! Gandhi obliged this fan from across the seven seas by sending him a charkha with his signature on it. The simplicity and moral message the charkha reflected on Ford kept him inspiring through the hard times of World War II.
- Gandhiji's autobiography, 'An Autobiography of My Experiments with Truth' was declared one of the '100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century' by HarperCollins publishers in 1999.
- Gandhiji used to walk a lot. He used to call walking the prince of all exercises. May it be during his school days or his higher education days in London, his love for walking never died. His enthusiasm in walking saved him a decent amount of money when he was studying law in London. The walking not just kept him financially sound but also physically fit.
- Most of us are knowingly or unknowingly curious about the picture of Gandhiji on Indian currencies. So here is some factual account of the same - the Smiling Gandhiji on the Indian currencies is not a hand drawn picture! It was clicked by an unknown photographer in 1946.
- Even though the Great Britain ruled India for many years and imprisoned Gandhiji several times for fighting against them for India's independence, it released a stamp honouring the Mahatma, in 1969.
- Gandhiji was finally chosen for the Nobel Peace prize in 1948. Unfortunately, he could not receive it as he was assassinated the same year.
- Steve Jobs was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhiji's life and philosophy - remember those round glasses the Apple Inc. Co-founder used to wear? Yes, he wore them as he was a staunch follower of Gandhiji's philosophy
- Most of the relics related to Gandhiji including the clothes he wore at the time of his death are still preserved in Gandhi Museum, Madurai
- Every year, on October 2, we worship the photograph of Mahatma Gandhiji and watch movies made on his ideal life. However, the true tribute to the Father of the Nation is possible only by following his principles with reverence and determination.
The following lines would be apt to conclude this short journey into the life of the Great Soul - "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. . . . Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God" - these were the lines Gandhiji was asked to write repeatedly by his Irish teacher from the Sermon on the Mount. Although Gandhiji wrote those lines to perfect his English, they left a lasting impression on him and so on his millions of followers.